Majority of Germans oppose TTIP, survey shows | News | DW | 04.05.2016
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Majority of Germans oppose TTIP, survey shows

A new survey shows that most Germans are concerned about the trade deal between the European Union and the US. As anger over the agreement rises, police have ordered a TTIP reading space in Berlin to be shut down.

A new poll published on Wednesday assessing German attitudes toward the government found that a clear majority of people view the trade deal as harmful and worry it could undermine consumer protection.

According to the survey, conducted by German broadcaster ARD, 70 percent of the participants said they believe the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has more disadvantages than it does advantages. That's a steep increase from the 2014 survey, which found that 55 percent of Germans viewed the agreement negatively.

Seventeen percent of participants said they saw the deal as being advantageous for Germany, while 13 percent said they didn't know or had no position.

Additionally, 79 percent of the survey's participants said they believed the agreement would hurt consumer protection, while 83 percent expressed dissatisfaction with the secretive way in which the government handled the negotiations.

Growing anger over leaked documents

The poll comes several days after the Dutch chapter of the environmental organization Greenpeace leaked secret documents showing the US vantage point of the deal. The organization highlighted the heavy pressure the US was putting on the EU to allow genetically modified food, known as GMOs, into Europe.

During an internet conference in Berlin, Greenpeace trade expert Jürgen Knirsch emphasized that EU legislation couldn't be adopted if there were clear negative consequences on humans, animals or the environment.

This past weekend, Greenpeace set up a special "TTIP reading space" in front of the Brandenburg Gate so that passersby could read the documents, which were authenticated by journalists and researchers.

On Wednesday, German police shut down the reading space, something confirmed by Greenpeace on Twitter. "Berlin police close "TTIP reading room", we'll keep you posted!" the organization said.

Negotiations over the trade agreement between the US and the EU have been ongoing for years, but have met with controversy in Europe over issues ranging from labor standards to its harmful environmental impacts. Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, has remained optimistic that the agreement will be approved sometime this year.

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